Saturday, January 07, 2006

My wish came true (but with a cost)

Friday's commute was rain free! Well, pretty much. The streets were wet and I did hit a small shower, but it was a much needed relief. There were even good stretches where the roads were dry.

Life just couldn't be that easy on me though. On my commute home I was on Mercer Island, which is about 17 miles from my house. As I was coming out of an intersection, I downshifted my front chainring and the chain broke completely in half as a link or two went bouncing down the street, never to be seen again. This wouldn't be such a big deal except that I wasn't carrying a chain tool (used to insert and remove chain links). I never thought I would break a chain on the road so I only carry them when mountain biking. Guess I was wrong.

I called my wife to arrange a ride and realized my priority in the household has definitely dropped. I got something along the lines of.. well, the baby just went to sleep and then he needs to eat, and so on. In other words, I was going to be waiting for a while.

I decided to walk up to a nearby coffee shop to wait things out and see if there was a bike shop in the area. As I walked into the parking lot a guy saw me and asked if there was a problem. I explained the whole situation to him and by chance, he was on his way back from a mountain biking trip and had all of his tools on him, including a chain tool. He was kind of enough to let me use it for 10 or 15 minutes while I fumbled in the dark to remove some links from my chain and put it back together. I managed to ride it home without shifting (which could have caused the chain to break again) and I am incredibly thankful for the kindness of this stranger.

According to Jim's fantasy bike commuting score sheet this day would earn me 29 points (30 for the ride, plus 4 for temperature and moisture bonuses, minus 5 for the mechanical).


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